Jump to content
wantrelief

wantrelief

Recommended Posts

brassmonkey

Hi WantRelief-- I reposted this on my intro thread, but will put it here too for your reference, it's a bit of my history talking about poopout, stabilization and WDnormal:

I originally wrote it to DesertChild to describe WDnormal.

 

"You call it withdrawal normal, as said above when you have reached a base-line which is as good as it gets for you. Now I guess, I can start to think about that. "

 

As good as it gets for that moment.  WDnormal is a sliding scale of reference for tracking overall improvements in ones condition. As you're learning this is a very slow process and at first changes in WDnormal are very small and slow in coming. As time passes and ones body heals those changes become more pronounced and more frequent. But it can be frustratingly slow at first.

 

I'll bore you with a bit of my history so you can see how I came up with the idea of WDnrmal.  Many people find the time frames upsetting but I truly advocate going very slowly.   I'm one of the "lucky ones" in that I have only been on one drug, all be it for 23 years now, which makes things a lot easier to sort out. I originally started on Paxil for Spontaneous Outbursts of Violent Anger and it really helped.  In reality I should have been through counseling instead of being drugged, but that's an irrelevant part of the story.  After many years on the drug it wasn't working as well so I updosed.  That helped sorta but a few years later I needed to updose again.  That helped for a few months, then I started down hill.  It took a number of years and becoming totally messed up to figure out I was in severe tolerance, or what we lovingly call "poopout".

 

Just making the decision to do something about it was a terrifying experience but after 18 years of being drugged, my marriage on the rocks and about to lose everything (probably even my life) I decided to do something about it.     Again I was lucky and found a site called PaxilProgress before I made any changes. That started the entire process.  I liked the idea of the 10% taper, but made a couple of modifications to make it gentler, and started with that.

 

Nothing happened. I felt as bad as I had been.  Six weeks passed and I did my second drop. Nothing happened, except maybe I felt a bit worse.  This pattern kept up for about 18 months.  When one day it hit me, "I hadn't felt as c***** for the past several weeks".  It took another six months before I again noticed that things had improved.  During this whole time all I could do was move doggedly forward making the best of it and learning to put up with and work around the symptoms.  I really had no other choice.

 

A little after two years I had my first widow.  It lasted about fifteen minutes, and it wasn't until several hours later I realized it had happened.  That was the point that it sunk in that the process really did work.  Except for that window the rest of the time was heavy brain fog, DR, no short term memory, dizziness, all the symptoms we know and loath.  Another window opened briefly a few months later, and I noticed that I wasn't as "out of it" all the time and that I was gaining a little control over the symptoms by Acknowledging them, Accepting them and letting them Float off as I went about my life.

 

Finally after three years of tapering I felt like I was making progress. I could see that I was improved from where I had started even though I knew I was by no means better.  I also could see that I was doing better that I was just six months before.  I realized that my "base line of feeling like c***" was improving or how my WD symptoms normally felt was improving.  Hence WDnormal.

 

These last two years, it will be a total of five this fall, have brought fairly steady improvement.  I can see improvements on a month over month and sometimes week over week basis.  To the point that many people would say I'm back to normal by the way I function.  I know I'm not because I am still taking the drug and will be for the next several months. During my time on and tapering off of paxil I have learned a huge amount about myself, life and how to deal with things.  

 

​I feel like I'm rambling now, but I hope this helps explain some of the process and you don't find it too disheartening because of the time frames involved.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Hi Wantrelief,

 

I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you. I have similar symptoms including "Thinking about doing something, however small, causes a lot of anxiety", and I know they are difficult to bear. I pretty much feel trapped in my house.

 

Are you able to get out and do things or do you work? Forgive me, I read your post before but my memory is not good right now so I apologize if you wrote this in your thread earlier.

 

I work with Wellness on the benzo forum, she is wonderful. Bubble actually pops in with good information and suggestions too.

 

Hugs and healing to you.

 

Hi tntd,

 

Thank you for your message and support!  I am sorry you are also feeling the same way about doing things.  It is so weird - everything I think about doing makes my stomach churn and I don't know how I am going to do it.  Paying a bill has become this monumental task. The one thing I have kept up is work. I am working 4 days a week - I am not sure if I should be to be honest.  I somehow drag myself there but it is so very hard to make it through the day.  It is a relatively new job and I feel a bit stuck there.  I changed jobs thinking it would be a good change and at first it was but then my level of responsibility changed as another person left and that is when things went down hill for me as my stress level really increased (plus it is a stressful job to begin with).  So now I am not liking my job much and think about quitting but don't want to make a decision like that when I am in this alien state of mind.  Not sure what I'll end up doing.....

 

Other than that I have not been doing much.  I try to force myself out here and there but have mostly been staying inside on the couch.  Like you, for some reason I can concentrate/distract on the computer but not much else is distracting.  I feel quite debilitated.  I don't think "depression" or "anxiety" are great words to express how I am feeling but don't know how else to describe it.  I know you have had a tough time getting outside too and I really feel for you; it is the worse feeling.

 

I will post in the benzo section.  I am really not sure if Klonopin is playing a role right now in what is going on with me but it would be good to get Wellness' take on it.  And I do want to start tapering that once I am stable (please let me stabilize!).  I would at least like to reduce the amount I am taking, especially as I've made a couple of increases I really should not have.

 

I hope you have had a better day!

Share this post


Link to post
tntd

Hi Wantrelief,

 

I can't imagine having to get up and go to work everyday. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better because I would have to leave the house. I only hope the stress is not causing more symptoms for you. You must be completely exhausted be the time you get home. 

 

Wellness and bubble both told me not to make a decision when I'm feeling really bad and I think it is good advice. Hard though because that's when we want to do something to make it better. 

 

I agree "depression" and "anxiety" are not the best words. I've been using terror days but I got that from someone else, Petunia I think. It just seems appropriate. I saw my pdoc today and he said that he had heard terror used in reference to withdrawal before and thought it was about right too. Not sure what to do with "depression" though, how to describe it better. I also have crying days that aren't depression, just crying. 

 

I'm sorry to hear that your job has become so stressful. 

 

I hope that Wellness can help you out in the Benzo forum. She's pretty awesome. Bubble pops in, sorry didn't mean to pun, and gives wonderful advice too. 

 

I hope you have been having a decent day today.

 

Hugs and healing

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Hi tntd,

 

Good to hear from you!  How has your day been? It sounds like you have a doctor who actually understands withdrawal!  It must feel good to have that support and validation.

 

I know this probably sounds weird to you but I am envious that you can cry.  I haven't been able to cry very much for some reason - like I am too wired or something.  I really want to as I think it be such a release of everything I am dealing with on a daily basis.

 

Yeah, I really don't know how I am working at the moment but it does get me out of the house and distracted.  I don't feel good at all at work but when I am home I feel worse as I can't really relax and am more aware of how I am truly feeling, how sick I feel.  I am not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep working but for now I guess I am going to stick it out.  Thank you for supporting my decision not to make a decision right now.  :)

 

I hope you are doing ok. Hang in there!

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

wantrelief and tntd:

 

It's probably better to use words that describe what you're feeling rather than the umbrella word "depression"; saying "crying" is much more specific. My words these days are "flat" and "resigned." We could both use "depression" but are actually having very different experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Yes, I can see what you mean SW. I am finding it difficult to express how I am feelingmy but will work on being more descriptive as generalities don't adequately describe this experience.

Share this post


Link to post
tntd

Hi Scallywag and wantrelief,

 

It's funny how we love our labels, "depression" and "anxiety" etc... You are right though they mean such different things to different people. I use low mood a lot, or feeling down. I haven't felt flat but I sometimes feel apathetic. Well, maybe that is flat, not sure. 

 

I do feel that crying helps me feel better sometimes so I would understand your desire to be able to cry. It must be frustrating not to be able to. 

 

It is good to have a pdoc that gets withdrawal. He has never had anyone experience it like me, he says. Makes me wonder if sometimes he doesn't get it and puts people back on meds. He tried to do that with me to some extent when we first met after another doctor dropped my clonazepam dose and I went into withdrawal but I refused. I would come in with printed information on withdrawal and he would equate it to his experience with alcoholics and people using narcotics and such so it was easy for him to make the switch. Now he doesn't want to give me anything because he feels my CNS is too sensitive. Though he would probably up my clonazepam if I asked him to. I just don't want to prolong that withdrawal.  I wish everyone could find a pdoc that understands and will help them through this ordeal. 

 

I hope you are having a better day. Hugs and healing

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

I am reaching out once again as I am feeling quite despondent.  I am trying to figure out what has happened to me.  Was it stress that precipitated this recent reaction or have I become tolerant to Celexa or Klonopin (or both)?  Will this updose work regardless of circumstance?  I am holding on hoping that this works.

 

I have been thinking about before this happened and I was becoming more and more fatigued.  I also had developed a fairly constant tick/fluttering in my right eye.  I am wondering if these were signs that Celexa (or Klonopin) were not working for me anymore?  I had chalked it up to stress at the time but now I am wondering....

 

I have not experienced any change in my symptoms except some days are worse than others but the symptoms are always the same.  Lots of anxiety (lack of appetite – having to force feed myself, a wired feeling, my stomach often has that butterfly feeling and I feel excess energy throughout my body.  I also have been having episodes of dry heaving).

 

I am only sleeping – I think – because of Klonopin but am waking up every morning at 4 or 4:30 (sometimes earlier), regardless of when I go to sleep.

When I wake up I can usually lie there and try to do some deep breathing but sometimes I am too anxious and become restless but then don’t want to get up.

 

I am completely unmotivated and can’t seem to leave the house unless I really push myself.  When I am out I am so uncomfortable I just want to go home. 

I try to distract myself but am finding it difficult to concentrate on anything for long, including conversations.

 

Basically I am feeling awful. All of this is leading to a lot of suicidal ideation because I can’t imagine living this way.  I also feel quite despondent with being on these medications and not feeling very hopeful of getting off of them.  

 

I am thinking about quitting my job as it has turned into a position that I am not well suited for and is increasing my anxiety/stress.  I worry, however, about not working right now as then I won’t have much contact with the outside world.  But maybe my brain is just needing that right now? 

 

Sorry for the long negative post.  I really could use some support/reassurance.

Edited by scallywag
increased font size

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Sorry about the font in my above post - I cut and pasted a Word document and it came out much smaller than I thought.  :(

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

wantrelief -- sleep disruption is common after changes in medication. 

 

The 4 am wakeup could be a cortisol surge; that is a very common wakeup time for that issue.

 

Waking with panic or anxiety

 

There are more topics where cortisol is mentioned. To find them, google survivingantidepressants cortisol

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks for your response, SW. The thing is that this started happening before I made any changes - it just suddenly started happening. That is why I updosed in the hopes that it would help.

Share this post


Link to post
Daisy1

Sorry to hear your struggling. I can relate !My husband hasn't ever been on any meds and gets eye twitching when he is under stress. I would try and keep hold of your job, I think working can be a good distraction from how your feeling ? Would your boss be willing to reduce hours perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks for writing, Daisy1.  I just read your thread and it sounds like you had an adverse reaction to Citalopram?  I am so sorry you are not feeling well either.  It sounds like we are having some similar symptoms.  It is great you were able to get off of all of the medications!

 

Like your husband, I would also get eye twitching in the past when I hadn't slept or was under stress but this was weird - it was more constant.  It now just comes and goes.  I am not sure if it is relevant, I am just trying to figure out what happened to me.

 

I do think work is a good distraction so am hesitant to give my job up.  The downsides are that it is very stressful and I don't feel like I am doing well there.  It is so difficult to work when I am feeling this way.  I am not sure what to do.  I don't think reducing hours would be an option right now as it would be hard to keep up with the work and I am only working 4 days a week so that is at least helpful.

 

I hope you are feeling better soon, Daisy.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Cortisol surges can show up immediately after a change, several weeks or months after a change.  They can also occur during periods of stress when steady on a dose. 
 
What non-drug techniques are you applying to cope? You can find additional ideas are in this topic:
 
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks for this reminder, SW. I do need to work more on coping. I have tried meditative breathing but when feeling like this, it is awfully hard to do for very long.

Share this post


Link to post
tntd

Hi Wantrelief,

 

I find that taking occasional breaks of breathing throughout the day and trying to relax my whole body at the same time helps while I am doing it so I try to remind myself to do it on a more regular basis. Other than that distraction is the only way that I have found that has helped with the high levels of anxiety. I am planning on starting the free online CBT http://llttf.com/to see if that will be a good distraction. 

 

Can you focus or have enough concentration to play games like Majong, or solitare, or anything like that? I haven't tried those yet but my husband keeps suggesting playing games as a distraction. Of course it would have to be something that would be calming. :)

 

Does your work keep you distracted? Do you work full days on the four days that you work? 

 

I hope you can find something that helps.  {{{Hugs}}}

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

I've gotten myself hooked on Bejeweled Blitz and find it a great distraction.  It was difficult at first but I found it to be very helpful in building concentration. Also you're not competing against anyone so it's all in fun with no pressure to perform.  I find all the explosions to be rather cathartic.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Hi tntd and brassmonkey,

 

Thank you for taking the time to write and for your suggestions.  I am not a card player but have thought about looking for some games on my phone.  It is funny you mention that game - Bejeweled Blitz - brass, as my boyfriend was addicted to that for awhile.  I have played some easy word games on my phone and those are distracting for a bit.  

 

I do need to work more on taking breaks for breathing, as you suggested, tntd.  

 

My work does keep me distracted and that is one of the reasons I am reluctant to give it up despite its stressful nature.  I am in no shape to look for another job at the moment so I am just going to keep trying to hang in there.  I work pretty full days on the 4 days I am there but have been leaving early when I can.

 

Thanks again for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
ang

Just read the last few posts,   I like you comments,  about the depression not being the right word.   I also have the terror mornings.   Also Chronic Fatigue isnt the right word,  I just feel terror at the thought of doing anything, and no enjoyment of doing anything, when I can do something.  I like the idea of using NON psychiatric terms,   seems psychiatry has gone way too far in infiltrating the world.            

sorry you are suffering Iwantrelief,    Seems many of our symptoms are the same.  I guess I just wanted some reassurance, that this is all just the horrors of psych drugs...... and withdrawals.

 

Hope you are feeling a bit better, and I agree, keep your job if you can.                  I managed to work 6 months last year.      But only you can judge, if the job has to go, nothing can be done about that.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Just read the last few posts,   I like you comments,  about the depression not being the right word.   I also have the terror mornings.   Also Chronic Fatigue isnt the right word,  I just feel terror at the thought of doing anything, and no enjoyment of doing anything, when I can do something.  I like the idea of using NON psychiatric terms,   seems psychiatry has gone way too far in infiltrating the world.            

sorry you are suffering Iwantrelief,    Seems many of our symptoms are the same.  I guess I just wanted some reassurance, that this is all just the horrors of psych drugs...... and withdrawals.

 

Hope you are feeling a bit better, and I agree, keep your job if you can.                  I managed to work 6 months last year.      But only you can judge, if the job has to go, nothing can be done about that.

 

Thanks for visiting my thread, Ang.  We are experiencing similar symptoms - I am sorry you are going through this too.  I am struggling with acceptance as I want my life back; I want to be able to go do things and be out in the world again, enjoying life.  It is hard to be patient and to believe that healing will happen.  

 

As hard as it is to go to work, for now I am going to keep my job if I can as it does distract me.  I will reassess if I am not able to do it but for now I will keep trying to keep it up.  

 

I hope you have had some improvements in your journey.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Hello all,

 

I am once again reaching out for the opinion of this wonderful group.

 

I am embarrassed about my situation as it is the same thing that keeps happening and I feel like I am in some sort of deja vu nightmare.

 

If you read my thread/signature, you will see a continual pattern of increased stress causing withdrawal symptoms and then me updosing to try to stabilize.  I will eventually stabilize over a 4-5 month timeframe.

 

The same situation has occurred again.  This time, however, I had been holding steady on 20 mg Celexa and 1.5 mg Klonopin since last summer's "crash".  My psychiatrist recommended increasing Celexa and I have increased to 22 mg for almost a month now keeping Klonopin at the 1.5 mg dose. I have not really noticed any change in symptoms, better or worse with the increase except maybe a worsening of sleep on some nights but it is difficult to say if that is due to the increase or just the situation in general.

 

I am so confused why this keeps happening.  I feel like ever since starting ADs, I can handle a certain amount of stress but then over time, my body just crashes.

 

I am writing because I am unsure if I should stay steady on the 22 mg or continue increasing? In the past the advice has been to stay steady and that has worked for me but my concern this time is that I was holding steady at 20 mg and this still happened to me so now I am truly in tolerance? I can't imagine decreasing as I am really unstable right now.

 

The stress that precipitated the recent go round of symptoms was job related. I have since resigned from my job as it was just too stressful for me to continue. this just happened so I have not been able to see if this change is helpful or not.  I am hoping to use the time I have to work on coping skills.  I do see a therapist who specializes in CBT.  I have been trying to incorporate mindfulness as well.  But honestly when things are this bad, I don't find much very helpful.  i also have this horrible lack of motivation which makes it hard to do much of anything except distraction.  For some reason I can focus on reading on the computer (mostly this website but a few others as well) but am finding it hard to do much else which is so unlike me.

 

I am not taking any supplements as the moment.  I have used fish oil in the past but have never been sure if it was doing anything.  I am scared to use magnesium as one of the symptoms is an upset stomach and I don't want to worsen that.

 

I once again am feeling pretty desperate and miserable.  All of the symptoms I have mentioned in previous posts are present and I am really struggling.  Feeling so confused and scared.  

 

Sorry for the long post.

 

Thank you in advance,
Michele

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

"In the past the advice has been to stay steady and that has worked for me but my concern this time is that I was holding steady at 20 mg and this still happened to me so now I am truly in tolerance?"

 

A sure sign of tolerance is increasing dosage, feeling minor relief then having the symptoms com back again.  It was my first thought when reading through your post.  DON'T PANIC.  Once it's understood tolerance or as we lovingly refer to it "poopout" can be worked around.  One key factor about Poopout is that a person will not fully stabilize while experiencing it. It's a function of how the body interacts with the drug by fighting the drugs affects.  

 

The lack of stability is a chemical/physical thing where the body and the drug are fighting for control.  If a person updoses then the drug temporarily wins and the symptoms calm to a small extent.  However the body doesn't want the drug in control and fights even harder to get around its effect.  If the dose is reduce, there is less drug to deal with, the body starts to win and can begin to make the necessary changes to regain normal function.  It can take quite a while for the body to regain enough control to start to stabilize, but eventually it will and the real healing can start.

 

If you want to regain stability and control then the best way is to slowly taper and use all the coping tools at your disposal to get through until the improvements start to kick in.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thank you so much for your reply Brass.  Congratulations on your getting off of Paxil - that is an amazing accomplishment!

 

So it sounds like you are saying there is no way to regain stability unless I decrease?  I can't imagine decreasing right now given I am feeling so very horrible and am basically not functioning. :(  

Share this post


Link to post
bubble
1 hour ago, wantrelief said:

 I do see a therapist who specializes in CBT.  I have been trying to incorporate mindfulness as well.  But honestly when things are this bad, I don't find much very helpful.

 

I also had some thoughts while reading your post especially since I seem to be in a similar situation: got in a bad wave (crash) as a result of stress at work (and my inability to handle stress of any sorts). The way I'm trying to get out of this is trying to focus on my coping skills harder. I do some sorts of brief mindfulness and breathing exercises at least twice a day and if things are bad more often. I'm really happy with my calm app because it has a great variety of techniques and I can choose how long I want to do them for: 5 minutes or longer (as I build some stamina I can gradually increase it). I don't even think about doing anything about my drugs. Drugs have been totally out of the picture when it comes to managing my symptoms.

 

I'm very inspired by Shep as to how powerful these coping methods are and I really believe in their healing properties.

 

1 hour ago, wantrelief said:

i also have this horrible lack of motivation which makes it hard to do much of anything except distraction.  For some reason I can focus on reading on the computer (mostly this website but a few others as well) but am finding it hard to do much else which is so unlike me.

 

I could've written the exact same thing myself because this is exactly how my 'crash' feels at the moment. I would encourage you to read from Shep's thread as a living testimony to the power of coping skills (and so many useful resources on what we could try out). I believe that even though we might not feel it is making much difference at the moment it is healing us from the inside.

 

We just stretched ourselves too much and our brains are using all the energy to heal themselves. I believe they will manage to do so before long.  

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thank you for reading my post and for your response, Bubble. For sure I need to work on the things you mentioned and make them more a part of my everyday routine. Somehow I have to push myself to do this.  So it sounds like your suggestion is to work on the coping skills and hold where I am?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
bubble

You will have to ask Brassmonkey to clarify what he meant.

 

19 hours ago, wantrelief said:

The stress that precipitated the recent go round of symptoms was job related. I have since resigned from my job as it was just too stressful for me to continue.

 

It is very clear to me that the increase in your symptoms was caused by stress. You did something to sort this situation by pulling out of the stressful situation. When we burn out it takes us some time to recover. I don't think you had to updose to recover from stress.

 

I would make a difference between drug related matters (whether something is a result of withdrawal or side effects) and our functioning and coping with stress and other elements of our lives. We had problems coping which led us to taking drugs. So unless we do something to improve our coping skills, getting off drugs want help us much or at all. Drugs are not our only problem. Sometimes I fear that too much focus on tapering diverts our attention from healing our lives and healing our ways of dealing with the world.

 

I definitely don't think you should start tapering now and I also don't think that increasing the drug is a solution. As I said, I believe that pulling out of the stressful situation and taking good care of yourself would have enabled you to return to your baseline without increasing the drug. This is what you have to do if you want to continue your taper: learn how to manage your symptoms with non-drug methods. You can taper once you return to your withdrawal normal.

 

I'm not sure how clear I have been since I'm also dealing with the aftermath of my burn out.  

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thank you for the clarification, Bubble - it is helpful. You mentioned dealing with your own burn out. Have you been able to get back to baseline with using non-drug methods?  

Share this post


Link to post
bubble

Many times so far!

 

The time is the biggest agent. I just have this faith that I will heal, take complete rest, try not to worry (too much) and put up with the symptoms. Observe them without reacting with added fear or changing/adding drugs.

 

Symptoms can be horrible: intense panic attacks, depersonalization, derealisation, various degrees of insomnia, cognitive disability and disorientation, anhedonia... It can take months but with lots of patience and acceptance things gradually improve.

 

Despite all the burn outs and worsening of symptoms of the kind I described above I have only been decreasing my drugs or holding. I haven't gone up in 4 years now no matter what. I am just determined to do everything else except trying drugs ever again. I have improved every time so far. I believe I will do again. I hope I won't bring myself into this kind of states again but if I do I believe I will recover again. I have no other choice but to believe. 

 

I don't do anything fancy. I stay away from work or if I go to work I'm very mindful and careful. I extricate myself from social contact. I put myself first. I listen to myself and my needs. I believe in the healing power of nature and when I'm at my worst I spend lots of time in nature. Just walking in the forest or sitting in the sun or walking in the rain. If I don't go to work I make myself go through a programme : I do tai chi exercises, a bit of yoga, short mindfulness meditation, healthy eating, long walks in nature, if I can I swim, or go to sauna, spend time with small kids or elderly or positive and simple people and just try to absorb their energy, I read about positive experiences of positive people here on the forum, people who were constructive in their fight, I pray, I read all the positive things I can get hold of, I reject the negative and I stay away from it. I read about people who went through hardship and came out of it (stronger). I read about neuroplasticity and how our brains can recover. Drugs are just not an option for me but anything else under the sun is. 

Edited by bubble

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Wow - your post is very inspiring, Bubble. Thank you for sharing more about how you've helped yourself when faced with awful symptoms. One last question...how do you do these things when faced with anhedonia? I suppose you just have to force yourself? I am really struggling with this problem, just have no desire to do anything. That being said, I am trying to do a little breathing, meditation and very short walks. But mostly have been lying on the couch trying to distract myself. And then trying not to beat myself up for being so unproductive!  I just don't feel like myself at all.

 

Thanks again,

Michele

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Hi WR--  Bubble has made a lot of excellent suggestions.  I think the first thing would be to try and regains some control over your life.  Despite the lack of motivation you need to get off the couch and do things.  Any thing. Just the act of making the decision will take some work.  It's best not to think about doing something, but rather just get started, impulsive, spur of the moment.  Right  now, get up, go out side and see what s going on.  Even if they are uninteresting and boring look at things, walk around the block, look at any flowers there might be, clouds etc.  Later today, try some of the things Bubble suggested above.  Every time you think of doing something and stop because your tell yourself "I don't feel like it" change the channel and do it anyway.

 

I wouldn't start a taper just yet.  That will change the dynamic on your head.  The first thing will be to get control over that dynamic and that will involve doing things you don't feel like doing.

 

" For sure I need to work on the things you mentioned and make them more a part of my everyday routine. Somehow I have to push myself to do this.  So it sounds like your suggestion is to work on the coping skills and hold where I am?"

 

You summed it up very nicely in your own post.

Share this post


Link to post
bubble

What I do with anhedonia is similar to what you describe: at those times I say that I operate with a crane: everything feels sooo hard to do, like I need a crane to move me from one place to the next. Mindfulness happens again: just focusing on one thing at a time, setting yourself small, micro tasks and rewarding yourself with just lying on the couch guilt free afterwards.

 

I have come to see anhedonia as a natural protective mechanism of our body/brain system. When we are under stress we burn so much energy that we deplete our inner resources tremendously. The body/brain just pull down the emergency switch on us to prevent further damage and allowing our body/brain to regenerate and direct all energy and focus into healing itself. That leaves us with very little energy for anything else and diverts our attention from anything else (which is actually anhedonia). 

 

So not beating yourself about it especially under the pressure of our society to be productive at all times and at all costs is very important part of taking care of ourselves. This state is an emergency call to ourselves to take a better care of ourselves. I don't believe in forcing it away but I believe in floating mindfully through it by setting ourselves micro goals such as what you are doing.

 

Sometimes when I'm particularly bad I just spend the whole day in bed or on a couch (or move between the two and just read, colour, forum... anything that brings me comfort) and do my best not to feel guilty about it. But the next day I take my crane and gently nudge myself towards doing some little things regardless of how much I don't feel like doing it. I make a special point of getting into the nature even if it is just sitting in the park on a bench or something. So I alternate these periods of doing as I feel and doing something despite how I feel. Being in nature just observing what's going on there, listening to birds, trying to tune in with its rhythms even when I can't feel much and stay quite indifferent lifts my spirits a bit.

 

There is that video 7 minutes of magic that I like doing, some breathing exercises.. And I just do them although I don't feel like doing them and don't really feel like it is helping but I believe a lot of these little things and most importantly time will bring relief.

 

I think you are doing all the right things (as far as it is possible to say what is right). 

Edited by bubble

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thank you both Brassmonkey and Bubble very much for your help - it is very much appreciated.  Brass, your message helped me accomplish a couple of things today, including getting outside for a bit.  Bubble, I really appreciate your description of how you push through, if you can, the anhedonia - I think we are facing it in a similar way.  

 

Thank you for all that you both do to help here,

Michele

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Your welcome Michele.  It's going to take practice so keep at it.  It sounds like you're off to a good start today.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks, Brass! :)  I am thinking through the thought you had about me being in tolerance.  My question is...if I am in tolerance will I be able to stabilize if I just stay where I am (22 mg)?  

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

To a degree yes, but then again no.  It is possible for the symptom pattern to be fairly stable day to day, but there will be a steady decline in the over all well being.  In a way tolerance is the ultimate destabilization.  There may not be acute symptoms, but they don't improve and slowly will get worse.  If, at the moment, the symptoms are tolerable then it would be a good idea to hold your dose steady for a month or so to let the affects of your updoses stabilize as much as they are going to.  That will be happening on the physical level and probably will not manifest as a decrease in symptoms.  There is a good chance that the symptoms will become a little worse.  But it is just as important to be stable physically as it is to be stable symptomatically before you start to taper.

 

Dealing with tolerance is a frustrating place to be.  If you do nothing, you're going to feel bad.  If you updose, you're going to feel bad,  if you taper, you're going to feel bad.  The good part is that with the taper, eventually you will start to feel better, and your body will heal.  A lot of patience and acceptance is going to be called for.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks for your honesty, Brass.  It is hard to hear, however, as my symptoms are acute and I am not really able to function very well.  

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.